Social Media Isn’t Drawing In All Millennials

Social media has come a long way over the past few years, with millions of users reaching out via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Periscope to stay in touch with others. That said, it’s not entirely a hit with everyone. In fact, some millennials prefer the offline approach.

Social Times recently posted a story indicating, based on numbers provided by Battery Ventures, that not all millennials are finding a need to use social media. A large number of that group between the ages of 20 and 25 were polled, and the numbers produced some surprising results.

Out of those surveyed, 11 percent don’t have any kind of Facebook account, and 27 percent actually use that site less than once per week. Meanwhile, 39 percent don’t use Twitter or Instagram accounts in any way, and 54 percent don’t have a Snapchat account.


The chart above shows the stark differences between the two, though the number rises up quite a bit when it comes to other age groups, with 31-35 year olds indicating they don’t have Snapchat (73 percent) and Instagram (49 percent).

Meanwhile, when it comes to those that do have accounts, Facebook continues to have a dominant lead with three times as many users as Snapchat, and more than double the amount of active users as Pinterest and Twitter. It appears to be the best bet when it comes to reaching most millennials, if not all.

Newer networks seem to have the biggest setbacks with that age group, as indicated above.

Chart 2

This second chart also shows quite a divide with male and female millennials alike, with Snapchat showing the highest number for those that don’t have accounts. Males have the biggest disinterest in Snapchat, with 56 percent. Meanwhile, Facebook, again, has the advantage, with only 13 percent of males and nine percent of females not having an account.

Marketers may also want to look at engagement when it comes to this audience. 29 percent of millennials in the 20-35 age bracket have some form of Twitter account, and use it more than once a week. Meanwhile, 12 percent also have an account, but use it far less, and 19 percent “rarely use” their accounts at all.

The full survey results can be found here.

Virtual Reality Continues To Shift With Oculus

There’s been a lot of talk up to this point about the future of virtual reality, and how it will eventually become a $30 billion market, between such competitors as Oculus VR, PlayStation VR and HTC’s Vive device. Now, it appears Oculus has made some major moves, with some recent announcements made at this past weekend’s Oculus Connect 2 event.

The event has been recapped here in full on Oculus’ blog page, but here’s a breakdown of some of the announcements:

-A new Consumer Gear VR headset will be introduced this November for $99, a partnership between Oculus Mobile and Samsung. With it, owners of Samsung mobile devices will be able to make proper use of the affordable headset, getting the most out of their virtual experience.

-Several new games are in the works for the device, including original games like Smash Hit by Mediocre Games and Land’s End by UsTwo. The trailer for these games can be found here.

-Old-school games will be getting their due as well, as a number of favorites like Pac-Man, Sonic the Hedgehog and Gauntlet will make their debut in Oculus Arcade later this year.

-Oculus’ video division saw a number of new partnerships emerge, including Twitch, Fox, Lionsgate, Twitch and Facebook, and there’s also one more major partner worth noting. (More on that below.)

Perhaps the one big feature, however, is the debut of Netflix on the Oculus device, which Social Media Marketing Daily noted in its recent article. With it, users can use Netflix’s artificial environment for a different take on movie viewing, bypassing the screen altogether for a whole new experience.

Netflix explained that the new virtual channel was actually the work of chief technology officer for Oculus (and former id Software president) John Carmack. “Honestly, John did most of the development himself,” said Anthony Park, vice president of engineering for Netflix.

With this, Facebook could be moving forward with its “spherical” video approach with the Oculus gear, which Mark Zuckerberg hinted at earlier this year during an F8 developer conference. That’s not to say that all of Oculus’ plans have been laid out the main Oculus Rift gear still has yet to see a release next year but this is definitely a step in an innovative direction for the market.

No word yet on how this will advance augmented reality just yet but considering it’s set to get a push of around $120 billion in its own market, we’re likely to see examples of this sooner rather than later.

eSports Company Skillz Raises $15 Million

eSports continues to dominate with multi-million dollar tournaments and wide exposure on streaming channels and networks alike. And now, Skillz is ready to get further into its game with a new round of funding.

Per a report from GamesIndustry International,the company, which works in the mobile eSports division and offers a number of cash prizes for the taking, has managed to gain $15 million in Series B funding, led by David Bonderman’s Wildcat Capital Management.

Other investors that took part in the funding include The Kraft Group (which owns the New England Patriots) and Mark Lasry (co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks).

“With David Bonderman and the owners of professional sports franchises like the New England Patriots and Milwaukee Bucks behind us, we are shaping the intersection of digital and physical sports and defining the future of competition,” said Andrew Paradise, CEO of Skillz.

“With more people playing video games than all physical sports, eSports are achieving mainstream adoption, and Skillz is leading the way,” he added. “It’s easy to imagine the day when eSports competitions share the same court as the Milwaukee Bucks.”

Skillz has come a long way ever since it was founded in 2012, with two different offices coast-to-coast (one in San Francisco and one in Boston), and another $13.3 million raised back in September 2014, led by a $6 million investment by Atlas Venture

Considering that a lot of mobile games are emphasizing more on the MOBA style of play (like the hit Vainglory and other up-and-coming titles), it shouldn’t be a surprise that Skillz wants to jump into the fray, in the hopes of seeing how competitive they can become overall. And with several key investors particular from various sports leagues taking part, it appears eSports could be gaining interest in other markets as well.

The future certainly looks bright for Skillz. And with the players in tow, the fun is just getting started.

In These Mobile Times, Billboards See Opportunity

Digital advertising continues to see a huge boom these days, although there’s a small amount of danger emerging from ad-blocking services, which are seeing more and more use on a weekly basis. Fortunately, some ad campaigns continue to work including physical.

A report from the Wall Street Journal indicates that a new campaign from the Outdoor Advertising Association of America could open the door for many companies to embrace an old-school ad format billboards.

The campaign, titled “Feel the Real,” is meant to pitch these companies on out-of-home ad platforms, including billboards and transit shelters, which can’t be blocked by any kind of services. The above image shows just how effective an ad can be, even if people are passing by it at a moderate speed.

The campaign was launched alongside Advertising Week, and not only features the above billboard, but also other ads, such as rail posters that state, “You are consuming an advertisement. You are real” and telephone kiosks reading, “Media planners, do you have a reality problem ” The campaign as a whole will feature more than 1,600 advertising displays. It can also take a personal turn, such as with an ad agency’s boss getting a mention, along the lines of “Hey, Shelly, does this ad feel real to you ”

Traditional media has seen a slide over the past few years, although spending on outdoor ads continue to rise, with approximately $2 billion spent over the previous year a 2.7 percent increase from the previous time, according to Kantar Media.

But this new push by PNYC could bring back the forgotten era of billboards and transit ads, and provide companies with a new means to reach out to audiences even if it is just a curious glance. Let’s see the ad-blockers try to get around that.

Alternative Growth Strategies for Mobile Games

At the Gaming Insiders Summit, one of the sessions was particularly well-attended Alternative Growth Strategies for Mobile Games. That really wasn’t a surprise given the experts in the session. The panel, moderated by Rovio’s VP of user acqusition Eric Seufert, included Terence Fung, the chief strategy officer for mobile game publisher Storm8, Simon Hade, COO and co-founder of Space Ape, and Andrew Stalbow, CEO and co-founder of Seriously.

The issue at hand was clear. “We’ve got to find much more effective ways of cutting through than traditional performance marketing,” said Stalbow: He noted that Seriously has found it effective to “go where others aren’t” and pointed out the company’s use of YouTube, which many had told them was a bad place to go for finding users. Stalbow took that as a challenge, and Seriously has found success on that channel by being creative.

As an example, Stalbow said they challenged PewDiePie and five other top YouTubers to see how far they could get in Seriously’s launch game, Best Fiends, in only one week. The incentive was that winner would see $50,000 donated to their favorite charity and, of course, serious bragging rights over other YouTubers. “It was a huge success,” noted Stalbow, with Best Fiends getting a great lift from the millions of YouTube views that generated.

Space Ape founder Simon Hade explained that his company has a three-person UA team doing straight performance marketing but they also have a 20% innovation budget. “It’s important to keep trying different things,” Hade said. The techniques available are always changing, and what’s working well at one point won’t be as efficient as more companies discover it and pour money into it. So it’s a constant search for the latest, most efficient ways to acquire new users.

Hade believes that YouTubers and streamers are increasingly important as a way to find and engage new users. “A quarter of the company [Space Ape] is doing customer support and engagement,” noted Hade. “We’re treating influencers like a PR channel,” he added, explaining that it’s a very cost-effective way to find users for Space Ape games.

Terence Fung of Storm8 noted that there strategy is somewhat different due to the different nature of their company. In contrast to Seriously, which currently has one game on the market, Storm8 has over 50 games so they don’t focus on any one game. “We spend about 10-30% of our marketing budget testing new UA channels,” explained Fung, though he later clarified that is usually more near the 10% end most of the time. How important is user acquisition to mobile companies Fung made that clear when he said this: “We spend a significant amount of our profits on UA, like most companies in the industry.”

One thing was quite clear from the varied experiences discussed by the panel: There’s no one solution for every game and every company. “If you’re trying to promote your game on a mobile device, you’re up against every entertainment product,” Stalbow pointed out, noting that you have video, music, social networks, books and more available on your game-playing mobile device, with all of those distractions only a click away. “You have to do multiple things at the same time: UA, a buy on Instagram, YouTube, a partnership with Wade Media, TV buy,” Stalbow advised. Of course, as Suefert pointed out, that brings in the issue of performance analytics. When you get creative about how you’re acquiring users, how do you track your performance Stalbow acknowledged that it’s more difficult. “We’ll see a collective result of revenue we bring in against that marketing push,” Stalbow said..

There’s some general advice the panelists offered that most marketers could use. “We’re a mid-size developer in a space where three or four developers are spending a million dollars a day,” Hade pointed out. “If you don’t concentrate your spend, it’s hard to see any result.” Hade is also sold on the importance of a fast start with your game. “I’m still a big believer in launch momentum. If I could have I would have loved to spend more on the launch of our games,” Hade said. Although he is hesitant about the value of television advertising for smaller companies. “TV is prohibitive for small developers. You can’t do a $200K or $300K TV campaign and get significant results,” he said.

As a final note, Stalbow had some cogent advice for marketers: “You have to be creative, and you have to takes risks classic performance marketing is a race to the bottom.” It’s time for marketers to be at least as creative as the game designers, as both should work together to attract, engage, and retain the biggest audience for their games.

Highlights From The First-Ever TwitchCon

On Friday and Saturday, thousands of streamers and their viewers descended on San Francisco’s Moscone Center to learn how to improve their craft, monetize and partner with brands at TwitchCon. For being the first-ever TwitchCon, 20,000 people attended and 1.9 million viewers enjoyed the fanfare from the comfort of their home. That’s nothing to sniff at.

During [a]listdaily’s stream, ION’s Steven Lai, Vincent Juarez and Chris Younger stopped by to share their own biggest takeaways from the event and how Twitch as a platform is evolving.

The Biggest Announcements From TwitchCon’s Keynote

TwitchCon has officially kicked off in San Francisco this week, and as you can tell from our live streaming at the event, there’s a lot going on.

However, the show got its start with a special keynote, with director of programming Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham providing some great stats about the channel, such as how many Kappa images are used in chat sessions (roughly 665 a minute) and $15 million being raised for charity by streamers within the last year.

Then CEO/founder Emmett Shear took the stage to reveal several new announcements revolving around the streaming channel, one of which could easily make it compete with YouTube when it comes to the upload front.

Video Uploads were easily the biggest announcement during the show, as broadcasters will be able to use a simple web interface to upload their videos without them going live first. This feature is set to arrive sometime in early 2016.

In addition, search will be enhanced, making it easier to find specific streamers and games, and an HTML5 video player will be introduced, for those who prefer that style of video player. Customizable thumbnails will be available as well, so that they can categorize certain videos for their viewers, instead of what broadcasted last like before. These will tie in with a 24/7 playlist, using a simple drop-and-drag interface. These are due in early 2016 as well.

A new piece of production software was also introduced, in the form of Gameshow, which supports cross-platform. This enables streamers to set up high-quality broadcasts, templates, dynamic editing and other features to make their online sessions work much better than ever before.

Finally, Twitch didn’t limit its announcements to just the mobile/desktop front. It also announced a new PlayStation app that is set to launch early next year, opening up a wide variety of features for owners of the PlayStation 4 and other Sony consoles. This includes better viewing of live gameplay sessions and much easier ability to broadcast certain titles.

There is some big news here, and we’ll see how effectively they unfold over the next few months.

In the meantime, if you want more TwitchCon action, be sure to watch the live stream here.

Wargaming & Harmonix Talk Streaming at TwitchCon

TwitchCon may be a great place to learn more about live-streaming and network with broadcast stars, but it’s also an ideal place for games, as many companies, including Capcom and others, are showing off their latest forthcoming releases.

Among them is Wargaming, who just launched World of Warships to an awaiting public. Like its previous games (World of Tanks and World of Warplanes), it emphasizes on free-to-play multiplayer action, but does so more tactfully this time around.

Erik Whiteford, director of marketing for Wargaming, stopped by the [a]listdaily live stream to chat about the game for a little bit, and its importance when it came to the streaming community. He essentially explained that the game was a vital opportunity to engage with streamers and community alike, with Warships providing a glimpse of what kind of tactical action awaits them. (Fun is still an important factor as well, he explained.)

Creating a connection with both of these audiences is key to the success of games such as this, with Twitch becoming “more and more important” when it comes to what Wargaming wants to provide to gamers. Feedback from users actually makes a world of difference, he said and it helps improve the game over time, with changes made to it.

World of Warships is available to download now at the official site.

Meanwhile, Nick Chester, PR and communications lead for Harmonix, also stopped by the live stream to talk Rock Band 4, the popular music/rhythm series that will be making its return to retail next month.

Nick basically talked about the addictive nature of the game, and how people love playing along to songs with certain instruments, like a guitar and drums. In addition, the debut of freestyle guitar solos in Rock Band 4 adds the ability to improvise, so that players get more into particular songs, such as “Uptown Funk.” He also explained that those who purchased songs in previous Rock Band games would be able to use them in the new title, as they could be downloaded through the official Music Store at no extra charge.

Nick also said that community is important to a title such as this, and live streams of Rock Band games continue to be popular even though the last game in the series, Rock Band 3, was released several years prior. Twitch streaming will be heavily supported with 4, building on the core functionality of the game through influencers. And more content will be added from there, to keep people in the experience.

Rock Band 4 jams its way to retail on October 6th for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Be sure to check back for continued TwitchCon coverage on our live stream tomorrow!

Bandai Namco and Daybreak Games On The Power of Streaming

As you can see from our previous coverage, TwitchCon got off to a big start this morning with the keynote, highlighted by founder/CEO Emmett Shear. A number of announcements were made, which senior vice president of marketing Matthew DiPietro recapped when he stopped by to talk with (a)list Daily during its live stream.

He talked about how the network showed its appreciation for video games in general, as well as its avid live streamers, and how the team has managed to take all that energy to channel it from the site into a “real place,” TwitchCon.

He also brought up the PlayStation Network application, which will make its debut in early 2016, with improved services to make it easier to stream from any given Sony console, including PlayStation TV. He also briefly discussed playlists, uploads, and the revamping of the search function, all of which should make Twitch a more optimal site to use when it comes to sharing content.

He explained that two million concurrent viewers watch various streams around Twitch, which easily ties in with the previously reported 100 million monthly viewers that the site gets.

Daniel Kayser, special host for [a]listdaily‘s live streaming, asked about what makes good content on Twitch, to which DiPietro broke down what broadcasters need to do into three basic categories: having an overwhelming and perceivable passion of what they’re doing (“You just can’t fake that.”), the desire to interact with viewers and chat, and, most importantly, consistency. Being there at specific times for viewers to check out helps build an audience, as it creates dependability between broadcaster and fans that can create a larger audience.

Daybreak Studios was up next, which has a big presence at TwitchCon this week. Digital marketing and brand strategist Taina Berardi talked about how the company was showcasing the popular H1Z1 in the Gaming Lab in the second floor, where the community has played a big part in it as well.

Berardi also discussed how strong Twitch support has become with its games, and how players could easily adapt to the service with titles like H1Z1 and others. It’s a vital part of the company’s development moving forward as well, so that players and viewers can be engaged.

As for what Daybreak is looking for from its games, Berardi stated that the company is looking for streamers to get involved with them, even those without a huge following. The Invitational taking place during TwitchCon will play a big part of that.

H1Z1 also resonates well with players, particularly the Battle Royale mode (which is a big part of the company’s presentation this weekend), said Berardi. Players can build up skills as they go along (they start in underwear), but through foraging and crafting, they can eventually build resources. It’s got comparisons to The Hunger Games, with a “last man standing” set-up.

The prize pool was actually built by fans, with a special crate featuring goodies that can be used. Streamers’ t-shirts could also be put into the game, according to Berardi. To date, it’s risen $170,000 in funds, with two top winners getting $20,000.

Even though no new announcements were made about the game at the event, there’s so much happening with H1Z1 for fans to stay engaged, said Berardi. Survival and Battle Royale players will be continuously supported.

Bandai Namco took the live streaming stage after, talking with Kayser about various projects. First up, in an earlier stream, Cory Maggard, quality assurance tester for the company, talked about the MOBA strategy game Supernova, which has been getting a great deal of attention on Twitch channels, and is slowly moving into its own level of success, thanks to avid fans. More details about that game can be found here, and interested fans can sign up for a beta, free of charge.

From there, Nick O’Leary and J. Kartje discussed Dark Souls III, which will make its debut on consoles and PC early next year. The team is heavily talking to streamers about what they want to get out of their game sessions with the heavy action title, which is highly anticipated with that specific community (Previous Souls games were top sellers for the company.)

O’Leary explained that the games have found a “second life” on Twitch and YouTube, and more work is being put into the latest chapter so that players can experiment more with it, although the solo experience is still intact.

When it comes to what people enjoy the most about Dark Souls streams, Kartje explained it’s about the experience, and how people can overcome certain challenges in the game in which there are many with larger bosses and enemies.

The duo then talked about features in Dark Souls III, including a new magic bar that can help keep a player alive against tougher foes. Armor and healing also plays a big part in the game since you need everything you can get to stay alive.

Twitch also plays a big part with other Bandai Namco titles, not just Dark Souls, according to the pair. Some can even play a part in sales, according to O’Leary, and that’s prompting the company to reach out more to streamers, complete with supplying games and other materials.

Be sure to follow our continuing coverage of TwitchCon on the [a]listdaily Twitch channel here!